Verbal Noun – Condition – Határozói igenév


This is a typical Hungarian form of expressing a condition. It can be translated with past participle, or the -ing ending. It expresses a mood, condition of some sort. Formation:

High-vowel: van/vannak + 3PS indefinite conjugation + -ve
Deep-vowel: van/vannak + 3PS indefinite conjugation + -va
Negation only with NINCS/NINCSENEK in present tense!!!

Meg vagyok fázva.
I have a cold.

A bolt nyitva/zárva van.
The shop is open/closed.

A dolog még nincs elintézve.
The matter hasn’t been settled yet.

Nevetve szaladt a barátaihoz.
He was running up to his friends laughing.

Sírva mondta el, mi történt vele.
She told what happened to her crying.

Be careful! English would say ’The shop is closed”, that is it uses past participle.

Don’t use Hungarian past participle in such sentences!

Unfortunately, the media are full of this crap. They use past participle instead of the proper Hungarian condition form (adverbial noun) due to the influence of foreign languages. The most common mistakes:

1. A bűnössége még nem bizonyított.
His guilt is not proved yet.

2. …melynek ténye még nem igazolt.
…the fact of which is not verified yet.

3. Az ügy még nem elintézett.
The matter is not settled yet.

As you see, there’s no problem with the English sentences. The problem is the Hungarian sentences using past participle like English. Why is it a huge problem? Because it sounds unnatural. Typical sentences for those who think they’re really smart and they prove not to be by saying nonsense like that. We understand what they’re getting at, but the actual meaning of the Hungarian sentences above is:

1. His guilt hasn’t proved anything yet.
2. …the fact of which hasn’t verified anything yet.
3. (I would say it can’t be even translated, complete nonsense)

The proper Hungarian sentences should be as follows:

1. A bűnössége még nincs bizonyítva.
2. …melynek ténye még nincs igazolva.
3. Az ügy még nincs elintézve.

Or you can use 3rd PP form as ”passive sentence”.

1. A bűnösségét még nem bizonyították.
2. …melynek tényét még nem igazolták.
3. Az ügyet még nem intézték el.

These sentences can be said in the wrong way because we don’t really feel them as a condition, so the media make their mistakes. But take a look at these sentences:

1. A bolt nyitva van. – The shop is open.
2. A bolt nyitott. – The ship is opened.

Nobody would make the mistake saying the second one: A bolt nyitott.

1. A bolt nyitva van. > it means that it is time to go shopping, you can enter the building because the doors are open. = CONDITION

2. A bolt nyitott. > it means maybe the shop has a roof that can be opened. = The shop is opened = QUALITY, CHARATERISTIC, FEATURE of the shop


If-clauses are sentences like:

Condition 0: If you come with me, I am happy.
Condition 1: If you come with me, I will be happy.
Condition 2: If you came with me, I would be happy.
Condition 3: If you had come with me, I would have been happy.

Such sentences can be real (condition 1), possible (condition 2), impossible (condition 3). And English makes a difference between Condition 0 and Condition 1. Hungarian doesn’t. Let’s see what the Hungarian translation of those sentences look like! The Hungarian equivalent of the IF conjunction is HA.

Cond 0: Ha velem jössz, boldog vagyok/leszek.
Cond 1: Ha velem jössz, boldog vagyok/leszek.
Cond 2: Ha velem jönnél, boldog lennék.
Cond 3: Ha velem jöttél volna, boldog lettem volna.

Furthermore, we should talk about tenses and moods. English uses Past Simple or Past Perfect after the if conjunction (subordinate clause), and Present Conditional or Past Conditional in the main clause. Let’s see a summary for Hungarian use!

Condition 1
> Hungarian uses Present Tense for both main and subordinate clauses.

Condition 2
> Hungarian uses Present Conditional for both main and subordinate clauses.

Condition 3
> Hungarian uses Past Conditional for both main and subordinate clauses.

In Hungarian you can also use Future Tense in the main clause for Condition 1. That’s why there is no distinction between Cond. 0 and Cond 1.

More examples:

Ha szeretsz, elmondod.
If you love me, you tell me.

Ha nem tanulnak, megbuknak.
If they don’t learn, they‘ll fail.

Ha szeretnél, elmondanád.
If you loved me, you would tell me.

Ha nem tanulnának, megbuknának.
If they didn’t learn, they‘d fail.

Ha szerettél volna, elmondtad volna.
If you had loved me, you would have told me.

Ha nem tanultak volna, megbuktak volna.
If they hadn’t learned, they would have failed.

NOTE! Both versions of the substantive verb can be used in conditional clauses. Examples:

Ha gazdag lennék, Ferrarit vennék.
Ha gazdag volnék, Ferrarit vennék.
If I were rich, I would buy a Ferrari.

Use whichever you want.

And finally, note that there is always a comma between the main and subordinate clause even if  the sentence begins with the main clause.

Ha nem kelsz fel, elkésel. / Elkésel, ha nem kelsz fel.
If you don’t get up, you’ll be late. / You’ll be late if you don’t get up.

Next time we’ll learn how to say “Were it not for…” in Hungarian. Bye now! 🙂

Irregular Verbs in Conditional

The fun with the conditional mood is that even irregular verbs are not that irregular. But I think we should go through them nonetheless.

lesz: lennék, lennél, lenne, lennénk, lennétek, lennének
van: volnék, volnál, volna, volnánk, volnátok, volnának

megy: mennék, mennél, menne, mennénk, mennétek, mennének
jön: jönnék,  jönnél, jönne, jönnénk, jönnétek, jönnének

Indef.: ennék, ennél, enne, ennénk, ennétek, ennének
Def.: enném, ennéd, enné, ennénk, ennétek, ennék

Indef.: innék, innál, inna, innánk, innátok, innának
Def.: innám, innád, inná, innánk, innátok, innák

Indef.: tennék, tennél, tenne, tennénk, tennétek, tennének
Def.: tenném, tennéd, tenné, tennénk, tennétek, tennék

Indef.: vennék, vennél, venne, vennénk, vennétek, vennének
Def.: venném, vennéd, venné, vennénk, vennétek, vennék

Indef.: vinnék, vinnél, vinne, vinnénk, vinnétek, vinnének
Def.: vinném, vinnéd, vinné, vinnénk, vinnétek, vinnék

Indef.: hinnék, hinnél, hinne, hinnénk, hinnétek, hinnének
Def.: hinném, hinnéd, hinné, hinnénk, hinnétek, hinnék

The rest of the verbs we called irregular are actually regular. And as you see the verbs above, they are not that irregular, either. I just write the conjugation for nő and alszik because then you know sző, lő, ró, fekszik, nyugszik.

Indef: nőnék, nőnél, nőne, nőnénk, nőnétek, nőnének
Def: nőnék, nőnéd, nőné, nőnénk, nőnétek, nőnék

Nőni can be definite when a phrasal verb: kinőni

Indef: aludnék, aludnál, aludna, aludnánk, aludnátok, aludnának
Def: aludnám, aludnád, aludná, aludnánk, aludnátok, aludnák

Aludni can be definite when a phrasal verb: kialudni

So much for irregular verbs. As I said, conditional mood is the easiest! Bye now. 🙂

Past Conditional

We will proceed like this: we discuss past conditional in this entry. In the next entry I’ll write is about irregular verbs and then if-clauses.

P A S T   C O N D I T I O N A L

Past conditional expresses a condition in the past :). The Hungarian past conditional is easy to form if you know how to form the indicative past tense.

All you need to do is to conjugate the verb in past tense and put the auxiliary verb VOLNA after it. ‘Volna’ is the 3rd PS conditional form of the substantive verb.

néztem + volna = I would have watched

Two examples for high and deep verbs:

Indefinite / Definite:
néztem / néztem volna
néztél / nézted volna
nézett / nézte volna
néztünk / néztük volna
néztetek / néztétek volna
néztek / nézték volna

Indefinite / Definite:
raktam / raktam volna
raktál / raktad volna
rakott / rakta volna
raktunk / raktuk volna
raktatok / raktátok volna
raktak / rakták volna

The auxiliary verb volna and the main verb CANNOT BE SEPARATED!

I would have seen the movie.
Láttam volna a filmet. > CORRECT
Láttam a filmet volna. > INCORRECT

H O W   W O U L D   I   H A V E   B E E N?

It is an important question because there is no compound tense in Hungarian! English has compound tense: I have seen, I had seen…

The conjugation for VAN/LESZ is the same and that’s how you form the conditional past for them:

lettem volna – I would have been
lettél volna – you would have been
lett volna – he/she/it would have been
lettünk volna – we would have been
lettetek volna – you would have been
lettek volna – they would have been

So it’s just the past tense of lesz + volna!

Next time irregular verbs. Bye! 🙂